Nonprofit organizations have consistently embraced technology and innovation to amplify their impact. In today’s digital age, MMS texts (texts with movies, GIFs, audio, images, or emojis) have emerged as a significant tool in the fundraiser’s toolbox. To provide insights into crafting the perfect text campaign, we studied the data from 100 MMS texts with the highest ROI between December ’22 and June ’23. And what we learned: the capacity of MMS text messages to evoke emotion and spark action is unprecedented, and we have the data to prove it. Read on to find out more.
What Nonprofits Use MMS Text Messages?
Nonprofit organizations of all sizes across various industries are now leveraging MMS texts. This shows the universal appeal of texting as a communication channel and its effectiveness in reaching out to various demographics and interest groups.
If your nonprofit hosts an event such as a 5k or annual gala, consider using texting to promote the event and communicate with participants before, during, and after the event.
For example, a health-focused nonprofit hosting a 5k or fun run could send timely updates and event changes, encourage participants to share their stories by replying via text, or send a text post-event highlighting the impact of the event. On the other hand, an education-focused nonprofit could host a silent auction and encourage attendees to send in their bids via text, vote on the most-liked item, or provide a survey about the auction once it’s completed.
Parameters of the High-ROI Texts
- Volume and Reach: These texts were sent to audiences as large as 4,000 people, ensuring a broad reach. While a list of 4,000 or more subscribers may seem daunting, don’t be overwhelmed! We have proven strategies and tactics to grow your subscriber list. In fact, we’ve compiled 20 easy ways to grow your subscriber base to help nonprofits accelerate their fundraising efforts. Pro tip: optimizing your donation page will help increase your subscriber base.
- Donations & Amount Raised: The texts reviewed by Tatango garnered between 25 to 247 donations, with fundraising amounts ranging from $896 to a whopping $5,976. Learn more about how to turn single donors into recurring donors
- Staggering ROI: The return on investment figures were eye-catching, ranging from 331% to an outstanding 7,746%. Tatango clients routinely see a 5x ROI. If you want to achieve your fundraising goals, check out the ultimate guide on texting for nonprofits.
Crafting the Perfect Text Message
“There’s no such thing as the perfect message” is no longer true, based on our data. When crafting the perfect message, consider adding a perfect touch with personalization. Additionally, take note of your time-sensitive messages and add urgency with compelling calls to action such as “Act Now” or “Please Donate”. Brevity is key in your messages, so keep your messages within the optimal text length.
- Timeliness Matters: Over half (53%) of the high-performing MMS texts were time-sensitive. For fundraisers, this implies the importance of crafting urgent calls to action, perhaps around specific events or urgent causes.
- Personal Touch: A whopping 64% of multimedia texts were personalized. In today’s era, where consumers are bombarded with generic messages, a personal touch can make your communication stand out. The most common form of personalization was using the recipient’s first name.
- Optimal Text Length: The data suggests that brevity paired with impactful content is key. The sweet spot for text length stood at 688 characters, which is roughly the size of four to five standard text messages.
Structuring Your MMS Text Message
The highest-grossing ROI messages all have something in common: how they structure the message itself. In all of these messages, simplicity is key. Graphics, bolded or highlighted text, and a hyperlinked call-to-action direct the user experience.
- Link Placement: An overwhelming 96% of high-ROI MMS texts placed a link at the end of the text. This placement likely provides readers with the information they need before giving them an actionable next step.
- Call To Action: While 89% had a direct call to action to donate, 11% took a different approach, prompting recipients to participate in a survey, sign a card, etc. This diversification can be essential in preventing donor fatigue and engaging them in different ways.
- Emojis & Subject Lines: Contrary to popular belief, simplicity seems to rule. 84% of these messages did not use emojis, and 80% skipped the subject line.
The Best Time For Nonprofits To Send Text Messages
Many nonprofits struggle with when to send their message or find a sending cadence that works for their supporters. When open rates are abysmal in other communication channels, have a direct line of communication to supporters is critical. In our research, Wednesday emerged as the preferred send day, with 27% of high-ROI texts sent out mid-week. However, Friday and Tuesday were close contenders with 19% and 18% respectively.
Pro Tip: Once you find a sending cadence that works for your organization, you’ll need to develop a content strategy to ensure that the messages you send are compelling and effective. But don’t reinvent the wheel here, simply repurpose the content you already are using!
The Power of Segmentation for Nonprofit Text Messages
Segmentation proves to be more than just a buzzword. Messages that were segmented raised 36% higher per recipient. Additionally, segmentation led to a 3x decrease in the unsubscribe rate.
There are many ways your organization could use segmentation. Some of the highest performing messages we saw from big-name organizations such as March of Dimes, Sandy Hook Promise, or the Alzheimers Association, segmented their list in varied ways. For example, your organization could segment with past donors, or exclude high and recent donors. Another option is to segment texts that have recent clicks. The most common form of segmentation from all the texts we reviewed was based on donor segments.
For nonprofit marketers and fundraisers, MMS campaigns present an immense opportunity. From the data, it’s clear that personalization, timeliness, and strategic segmentation are crucial. Additionally, while innovation and creativity are encouraged, sometimes simplicity in message structure can be more effective.
Armed with these insights, nonprofit organizations can craft MMS campaigns that not only resonate with their target audience but also drive impactful results. Whether it’s rallying support for a cause or driving donations for an urgent need, MMS texts, when done right, can be a game-changer.